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HISTORY    AS    A    BRANCH    OF    LITERATURE

reconstruct a scene, a situation, a predicament or a crisis.
At another time, however, we tend to think of history
as ^rather an endeavour of analysis and a study of the
processes that have taken place at one period or another;
and in this case we do not ask : " What was the Cabinet
like in 175o ? "ówe rather put to ourselves the question:
" How did Cabinet government come into existence ? "
We do not ask : " What were the Puritans like ? "ówe
enquire, shall we say, " What part has religious non-
conformity played in the making of the English tra-
^dition ? " One kind of historical writing will show us,
step by step, the way in which Martin Luther came to
an irremediable cleavage,with the Papacy. It depicts
and narrates, and we need it primarily in order that we
shall know what was that past (or that particular period
of the past) which we may happen to be envisaging at
a given moment. The other kind of historical writing
may try to work out the general causes of the" Refor-
mation, or the importance of the Reformation in German
history. So it does not portray but rather analyses
and dissects.

Concerning these two ways of treating the past, we
may say that the former has more particularly belonged
to literature and makes its appeal to all men, whether
they have had any training or not; while the latter
involves more of the thinking of the specialist, and
occupies a considerable place in the technical equipment
of the historian, so that it is one of the things which are
a legitimate object of a university education. In a
manner which was perhaps unavoidable, because it is
typical of the way in which things happen in life, the

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